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Tips for Going Vegetarian

Updated on December 21, 2016

When I was 14, I decided to go vegetarian and now that I'm 19, I'm still following a plant-based diet. I never feel hungry and I eat foods that I like. In addition, I don't have any vitamim or iron deficiencies which, surprisingly, I had when I was eating meat. If done correctly, the diet can be helpful in weightloss and even reduce cholesterol levels. My reasons for becoming a vegetarian were not in the interest of my own health, however. I made the decision one day, after watching videos of the horrors that animals go through in factory farms. It opened my eyes to what was on my plate and the cruelty I was contributing to by eating meat.

It may be hard for some people to simply give up eating meat entirely, like I did. I know others who would rather eliminate certain foods little by little and that makes it easier for them to transition. Before trying to go vegetarian, it's a good idea for you to become informed and read up on the diet. It's also important to have a good reason for changing your lifestyle; something to keep you motivated. Finding tasty recipes that are simple and you like is a great way to get started. There is a website called ChooseVeg.com that I like to visit often for ideas on what to eat. I've put a link below to a seven-day meal plan that I am starting to follow because I'm trying to lose some weight.

Their website also offers insight into why some people go vegetarian or vegan and why it's beneficial for your health, the animals, and the environment as well. It's always fun to look up vegetarian recipes online and try a new one each week and see which kinds of foods you like. As a vegetarian or vegan, you can still keep making foods you love, but you can substitute meat for other foods. For example, if you love eating turkey sandwiches or burgers, just substitute the meat with some tofu "ham" or a veggie pattie. Some burger-joints even offer vegetarian friendly alternatives to your beef patty. Trust me, it tastes just as good.

So as a recap, here are the tips for going vegetarian:

1. Think about why you want to change your diet. Write down your goals and what you want to accomplish or why you think this is the right decision for you.

2. Read up, watch videos, and do research on the diet to find out if it's something you're interested in doing.

3. Find recipes you like and try new ones every week.

4. Find substitutes for meat and incorporate them into your favorite dishes.

5. Have fun and enjoy! Remember, you don't have to eat anything that you don't want to and if you find that a recipe doesn't agree with you, don't feel discouraged. Being a vegetarian or vegan can be difficult in the beginning, but there is no reason you should feel restricted or unhappy. If you do, you're doing it wrong!

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